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JohnSinik

Arafat.........

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His record is so shocking and reprehensible that they would have been justified in asking why the United States has any dealings with him at all. Very few people know that thirty years ago Arafat's Al Fatah had a terrorist arm called Black September which was responsible for the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, a brutal deed that shocked the world. Still fewer know that in March 1973, Arafat ordered a Black September attack on the Saudi embassy in Sudan, where our Ambassador Cleo Noel, our Deputy Chief of Mission George C. Moore and Belgian diplomat Guy Eid were taken hostage at a reception. They were brutally murdered, said to have been shot in a way that made their deaths especially agonizing.

These murders were front-page news for days, but Arafat's role is little known because it was discovered in super-secret communications intercepts of the National Security Agency (NSA). It was kept secret for years until James J. Welsh, who was the NSA's Palestinian analyst, decided that his obligation to let the truth be known outweighed his pledge to keep his work secret. He revealed that he worked on the intercepts of Arafat ordering the murder. First reported in WorldNetDaily more than a year ago, what he has disclosed has been almost completely ignored by both the media and by the Bush administration. The tapes of Arafat giving the order to carry out the attack and the murders have never surfaced, even during a mid-1980s Justice Department investigation of Arafat's role in the operation.

What is less understandable is the evidence that the official records in the National Archives have been purged to keep the information about Arafat's despicable deeds from being known by the American people. Russ Braley, a retired foreign correspondent, recently found documentary proof confirming Welsh's account of Arafat's role in the 1973 murders. His search was frustrated by a lack of cooperation from the Archives, where the relevant records had been purged.

His activism began in 1948, when, as a student, he ran guns into Jerusalem from Egypt, arming Arabs who were fighting against the British army and Israeli defense force. It has been said that Arafat's businessman father moved his family to Cairo from Gaza after being accused of engaging in commerce with Zionists. Others believe Arafat was born in Cairo, where, after fighting against the triumphant Israelis, he would return in 1949 to study engineering. After a brief trip to Europe, he was not content simply to champion the Palestinian cause, and plotted against King Faisal in a conspiracy that exiled him from Egypt. In 1956 he co-founded an insurgent group he dubbed al-Fatah, "the conquest."

Despite its majestic name, al-Fatah was a small operation in an Arab war against the new state of Israel. Arafat, however, who had shown superior organizational talents training commandoes in Kuwait, now displayed a genius for maneuvering in tight quarters. While engaging in hit-and-run attacks against the Israelis, al-Fatah spent almost as much time ducking the angry soldiers of its host countries, who did not wish to be sucked into a war with the formidable Israeli defense force. Arafat was considered a loose cannon by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), which was created in 1964 to pull together Palestinian groups, but was really intended to be a tool of a confederation of Arab governments. Convinced of his own righteousness, he maneuvered for greater power while the Israelis mowed down his Fatah fighters, and fickle Arab sponsors played politics with his people.

In 1969 Arafat's plans bore their first fruit. He was elected chairman of the PLO and immediately mounted raids against Israel from neighboring Jordan. But he misjudged his own strength. In the fall of 1970, under pressure from Israel, King Hussein of Jordan moved against the PLO (in what was called the Black September purge), driving its commandos from Jordanian territory. Beleaguered by Israeli animosity, Arab perfidy, and the sense that the world was indifferent to its struggle, the PLO fragmented into splinter groups, which continued the campaign of terror. Arafat and the less visible chiefs of other PLO groups were blamed for introducing a horrified world to airline hijackings, attacks on schoolchildren, and the slaughter of Olympic athletes. The image of Arafat in his trademark kaffujeh began to instill fear and animosity in Western hearts.

Over the years, Arafat's confrontational style invited political disaster. At the United Nations, a uniformed Arafat appeared wearing a pistol holster. In 1982 PLO commandos at West Beirut, pushed to the sea by the Israelis, were evacuated under supervision of United Nations forces in a "victory" that celebrated little more than their survival of a nine-week siege. During the Gulf War of 1991 Arafat backed Saddam Hussein and then watched as Western and Arab armies quickly rolled over the hapless Iraqis. By 1993, with its Soviet sponsors gone and its Arab allies cool, the PLO was bankrupt, friendless, and unable to control the intifada that had wracked the occupied territories for five years.

Yet, at his career's nadir, Arafat somehow triumphed. The Islamic fundamentalism spreading in the Palestinian ranks made Arafat look relatively moderate to the Israeli leadership. The Israelis finally negotiated with Arafat. Soon he was at the White House shaking the hand of Yitzhak Rabin - with whom he would share the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize. The ancient city of Jericho became the center of an embryonic Palestinian state, and Arafat was photographed weeping at his homecoming in Gaza. The world, it seemed, believed that the peace process could succeed and that the promise of a Palestinian homeland could become a reality.

In 1995 Rabin was assassinated - not by an Arab extremist or PLO gunman, but by a right-wing Israeli - and the subsequent election fell to the right-wing group Likud and its Americanized leader, Benyamin Netanyahu. The new prime minister immediately put the brakes on the peace process, leaving Arafat to govern a legally and politically ambiguous region filled with angry, disappointed Palestinians. Governance proved to be even more difficult than armed rebellion. Intensely corrupt, the Palestine Authority demonstrated little ability to manage civic projects or anything else. Many Palestinians see their new government as a melancholy reprise of traditional Arab strongman politics, destining Palestine to a future as a Middle East dictatorship. Meanwhile, the rest of the world looks on, hoping to see the peace process which was initated in 1993 realized.

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Very simply, Yasir Arafat is a terrorist, no less so than Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, and the like; Al-Fatah, "the conquest," and the PLO are dangerous terrorist organization; and, his, apparently, imminent death will bring no tears to my eyes.....

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The number of times I've heard in the last week that he died, I'm not sure when to actually beleive it LOL. I won't shed any tears either, but I also don't think his death will really mean anything (just like when Osama finally buys it, it won't change anything).

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Don't forget to add in your list of terrorists, David Ben-Gurion, the Stern Gang and Ariel Sharon. There are two sides to every story. Yesterdays terrorists can become tomorrows founding fathers, Ben-Gurion is a perfect example of that.

We had a very interesting discussion about Arafat and the Palestinian issue on this very website a few years ago. Maybe some of you remember it.

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"RAMALLAH, West Bank (Nov. 10) - Yasser Arafat, who triumphantly forced his people's plight into the world spotlight but failed to achieve his lifelong quest for Palestinian statehood, died Thursday at age 75....."

While I do not rejoice in the death of any human being, I do not mourn the death of this despot. The world is a slightly safer, and better, place this evening.

jbond: The difference between a "terrorist" and a "freedom fighter" is the targets! Arafat targeted innocent civilians, children, tourists, etc; His bombs killed and maimed far more people in Israel, percentage-wise to population, than the horror of the World Trade Center; and, they occurred on a regular basis, for over a decade!

The targets of the Israeli entities you mention were ALL military! They were aimed at the British, who sided heavily with the Arab nations, and did not allow Jews, in Israel, to posess weapons, right up to the moment that they were left to face the surrounding Arab armies... Meanwhile, the British were arming the Arab nations.

At the same time, the British government was ignoring the Balfour Declaration.

The open support shown by the British, and their terrirories and commonwealths, for the Arab nations is no secret.

But, times change. England is our strongest ally, and Canada, no longer a possession, our best friend. In my many visits to ("English") Canada, I have always felt welcome, and at home, and I loved every visit.

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This may seem way out of character for me -- but the first thing that came to my mind when I heard the news was "good riddance."

My second thought was for the people of Israel. I pray for their safety over the next couple of days as demonstrators are likely to take to the streets.

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Lisa63 says it best "good riddance!" He was a killer of the innocent including women and children, and his own people! May he burn in hell!

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